Computing Extended Diploma Level 3

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    Full Time

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    Two years

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    September 2020


The Level 3 Computing Extended Diploma is a two-year course. During your first year, you will study the Level 3 Computing National Foundation Diploma. Upon successful completion of the first year, you will progress on to the second year of the Extended Diploma offering greater breadth and specialisation in a stream of your choice such as software development or networking and systems support. The Level 3 Extended Diploma is equivalent to three A levels.

What will I do?

The Computing National Foundation Diploma studied during the first year provides a comprehensive yet broad understanding of Computing. The structure of the programme provides an innovative and creative curriculum covering the core subject areas within IT.

Units to be studied during the first year include:

  • Principles of Computer Science
  • Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  • IT Systems Security and Encryption
  • Business Applications of Social Media
  • Human-computer Interaction
  • Website development
  • Systems analysis and design

In your second year, you will then have the option to specialise your studies in either Software Development or Networking and System Support.

The academic year is divided into two semesters and students will be expected to complete at least 3 units each semester.

In addition to your course, you may also study either Functional Skills or GCSE English and Maths, dependent on your current GCSE grade.

The entry qualifications for the Level 3 Computing Extended Diploma are five GCSEs at grade 4 or above (Old GCSE grade C or above) including English, Maths and related subjects (or equivalent) or Merit or above at Level 2.

The Computing Extended Diploma course will take you two years to complete. You will attend College for at least four days a week, plus independent study.

The Computing Extended Diploma is free, if you are under the age of 19 on 31 August of the year you start the course.

If you are aged 19+, this course will cost:

Year 1, Level 3 National Foundation Diploma - £5421
Year 2, Level 3 Extended Diploma - £3162

If you are aged 19-23, fee remission may apply depending on personal circumstances, please enquire with the Registry Department for further information on 01205 365701.

Aged 19+? If you are aged 19 years or over on the 1st day of your course, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help with your College fees. If you progress to employment you won't have to pay anything back until you’re earning £25,000 per year. Your household income isn't taken into account and there's no credit check. Your eligibility depends on your course, nationality, and age. To find out more contact the College Information Line on 01205 313218.

International and EU Students, please contact the International Office on +44 (0)1205 313212 or for details on fees.

Fees may vary depending on personal circumstances, please enquire for further information.

Please note that all fees are subject to change.

Units such as Principles of Computer Science and Fundamentals of Computer systems during the first year are assessed externally through exams. There are two further externally assessed units in the second year.

The remaining units are internally assessed and graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction levels. You must complete all units to a minimum of a pass standard in order to gain the full qualification.

The Computing Level 3 Extended Diploma is highly valued by employers and can lead to careers in the Computing sector as trainee programmers, systems analysts, web designers and network and IT technicians.

The Extended Diploma is also a recognised route on to degree courses, higher apprenticeships or HNC/HND courses in Computing.

Additional costs include the purchase of pens, paper, educational visits, course specific materials and pay for non-educational visits etc.

There may be an opportunity to complete an Industry Placement alongside your main Level 3 course.

Industry placements give you the chance to put into practice what you have learned and you will have the opportunity to spend an average of 50 days working for an employer, in a role directly relevant to your course.

With an Industry Placement you will gain technical skills, be prepared for the world of work, and gain connections in order to secure a job after your course.

What will I gain?

  • Build your confidence, self-reliance and independence in the workplace.
  • Enhance the learning from your college course.
  • Develop your experience and expand your CV.
  • Give yourself a head start in knowing what type of job you may want to go into after finishing your course.
  • May lead to further opportunities such as paid employment or an apprenticeship on completion of your course.
  • Take a step forward professionally, knowing the behaviours expected in the workplace.

What will I do?

  • You will take part in an average of 50 days placement in a role that is directly relevant to your course, in an external organisation.
  • You will develop the practical and technical skills required for your profession/trade.
  • You will develop employability skills such as communication, teamwork and time management.

An existing part time job may qualify as an Industry Placement if it meets the criteria set by the College.

For more information regarding Industry Placements please contact the Enterprise Zone: or call 01205 365701 ext: 3226/3227

How to Apply.

To apply for a course, you will need to have an account with us!

Creating an account is easy, just click ‘Apply for this course’ below.

If you live outside of the UK and would like to apply for this course, please complete the International Enquiry Form.

Find out about the amazing opportunities available at Boston College at one of our Open Events.


You can download our course guide